Dynamic traffic assignment model for inland waterway freight transport

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Due to the rapid increase of global trade and deepening integration within the European Union (EU), freight transport across the EU has had relatively fast growth. However, constraints of transport infrastructure, interoperability and governance issues do slow down the developments of freight transport. There is a need for transport planning models to support the growth of freight transport, especially in inland waterways.
Currently, the inland waterways freight transport planning models used by EU governments like Germany, Belgium, France and The Netherlands are mostly static. In static models, evaluations are done under normal, static conditions, on an annual basis, ignoring the dynamics in freight.
This research presents a dynamic model for Dutch freight transport via inland waterways. The Dutch inland waterways are interpreted as a network. Freight shipments are assigned to the network in a dynamic way, with the goal of minimizing the travel time. To achieve this, the research comprises a network model and the corresponding mathematical model.
The network model includes the main infrastructures of the waterways, such as bridges, locks and ports. Whereas the mathematical model includes a time-dependent shortest path algorithm, a network loading process and a path adjustment algorithm. The model is validated by simulating historical data and by comparing the results with those from a static model. Several scenarios are given to illustrate uses of the DTA model.